Let’s face it, the prospect of staying at a stranger’s house abroad seemed crazy before the days of Airbnb.
Unless you knew them or had at least a mutual acquaintance, it wasn’t often, if at all, that you’d plan to stay at a complete stranger’s home, or even live with them for a short time.
You don’t want to be murdered in your sleep.
So when Airbnb debuted 10 years go and verified all its guests and hosts, we could relax knowing that precautions were taken.
Accommodation is also cheaper with the home system than its hotel counterpart (in certain countries).
Now the creators have upgraded the system, allowing for some pretty luxury living and making it easier to plan that getaway you’ve been hoping to go on for ages.
Airbnb Plus goes beyond the normal scope, making it easier for users to navigate while also rewarding hosts.
Four new property types will be added to the platform (currently offering shared, private, and entire home). These include vacation home, unique space, B&B, and boutique.
So instead of scouring through the listings for ages, you can narrow down your search to suit your trip.
This will give a greater choice of accommodation options to guests, provide transparency over what’s available, and help hosts showcase what’s unique about them to better match with guests’ preferences.
’10 years ago we never dreamed of what Airbnb could become. In fact, people thought the idea that strangers would stay in each other’s homes was crazy. Today, millions of people every night do just that’ said co-founder Brian Chesky.
‘But we want to go further by supporting and expanding our community so that in ten years time, more than one billion people per year will experience the benefits of magical travel on Airbnb.’
As well as offering the core property types, it will also have sophisticated search capabilities that will allow travellers to find the host and home that’s right for them, to be made available this summer.
You can even choose the profession of your host. That’s a pretty neat trick, if not slightly invasive.
The new tier of homes available from today have been personally verified for quality and comfort.
Starting with 2000 homes in 13 cities such as Cape Town, San Francisco, LA, Shanghai, and Toronto, Airbnb Plus is intended for guests looking for beautiful homes, exceptional hosts and peace of mind.
The luxury homes have been inspected and verified through a rigorous system, against a 100+ point checklist covering cleanliness, comfort and design. So hopefully, there’ll be no nasty surprises.
Determined to go all out, Beyond by Airbnb is also launching, in autumn this year, and will offer fully customised trips and experiences in the world’s finest homes, retreats and villas.
So now you really can see how the other half live.
Airbnb Collections will also provide properties in several categories: social stays, honeymoons, group getaways, dinner parties, family, work and weddings.
Hosts will be able to reap new benefits which include better exposure, custom URLs and exclusive benefits on smart home products.
One thing is clear, Airbnb isn’t just for millennials on a budget who don’t mind a bit of couch surfing anymore, but is becoming a serious contender for high-end holiday bookings, for all types of holidaymakers.